Indonesia Bali raises volcano alert at the highest level.
The Bali airport was closed for 24 hours, causing the explosion warning and the presence of volcanic ash interrupted 445 flights and 59,000 passengers.
Indonesia warned for four warnings on the first level for the Agung mountain volcano in Bali on Monday, tourists closed off from the island’s airport and immediately asked people living near the top to leave, warning of the “imminent” risk of a large explosion.
Bali’s airport was closed early Monday after tests indicated ash had reached its airspace and authorities raised the volcano’s alert to the highest danger level. Flight information boards showed rows of cancellations as tourists arrived at the busy airport expecting to catch flights home.
Ahsanurrohim air airport spokesman 445 flights were canceled, stranded travelers about 59,000. The closure is in effect until Tuesday morning, although officials said the situation will be reviewed every six hours.
Bali, famous for its surfing, beaches and temples, attracted nearly 5 million visitors last year, and its international airport serves as a transport hub for the chain of islands in the eastern archipelago of Indonesia.
Bali is Indonesia’s top tourist destination, with its gentle Hindu culture, surf beaches and lush green interior attracting about 5 million visitors a year.
Head of the Geological Agency, Kasbani, who goes by a name, said the alert level was raised because the volcano has shifted from steam eruptions to magmatic eruptions. However, he said he still does not expect a large eruption.
“We do not expect a large eruption but we have to be alert and anticipate,” he said on Indonesian television. Last major eruption of the volcano in 1963 killed some 1,100 people. The exclusion zone around the crater was extended to 10 kilometers. Previously it ranged between 6 and 7.5 kilometers.
In the villages around the volcano there are fears of coarse to medium sentimitar and soldiers and police has been treated to masks during the weekend. In the Karangasam district located around the volcano, tourists stopped seeing the huge ash trunk because the children made school.
Indonesia is located in the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’ and has more than 120 active volcanoes.
Mount Agung’s alert status was raised to the highest level in September after a dramatic increase in the tremors of the volcano, which doubled the exclusion zone around the crater and brought more than 140,000 people to leave the area. The alert was lowered on October 29 after a decrease in activity but about 25,000 people remained in evacuation centers.